OAK HARBOR, Wash — An Oak Harbor woman is suing chemical giant 3M over polluted well water on Whidbey Island.
Every time she turns on the tap in her Island County home, Krista Jackson worries what's in the water.
"I think about what drinking this water is doing to the health of myself, the health of my animals, the health of children in the community."
Jackson has perfluoroalkyl substances in her well water, known as PFAS.
The chemicals have been used by Naval Air Station Whidbey Island for many years as part of a foam fire retardant during training exercises.
PFAS have been linked to cancers and other diseases.
Jackson believes 3M has known about the dangers for a very long time.
"I've been drinking poison water for probably decades," said the Oak Harbor school teacher.
The Navy discovered 15 wells and 37 households impacted by the contamination more than two years ago, in both Oak Harbor and Coupeville.
Jackson's class action lawsuit demands 3M clean up contaminated wells, provide safe water and pay for medical monitoring for those affected.
"I am really outraged," she said. "I feel that these chemical companies were not responsible neighbors. They produced a product they knew was going to end up in people's drinking water."
A 3M spokesperson told KING 5 News that the company "acted responsibly in connection with its manufacture and sale of AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam) and will vigorously defend its record of environmental stewardship.”
The Navy, which is not part of the lawsuit, is spending $6 million to build a filtration plant in Coupeville.
Plans for what to do in Oak Harbor remain uncertain, but the Navy is providing bottled water for those who want it.
"The Navy and DOD have been at the forefront of trying to resolve and understand the issue so we can remediate it where necessary," said Captain Matt Arny, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
For now, Jackson has installed filters on her faucets, but still can't help but worry.
"There are just so many unanswered questions," she said. "Will I experience health problems? If so, what will they be? All of these things, as you're trying to go to sleep at night, play through your mind."